Speaking to Australian journalists at Hyundai headquarters in Korea today, Hyundai Motor Company President & CEO, Steve. S. Yang, confirmed that the next generation Hyundai Genesis Coupe will be produced for right-hand drive markets.
Hyundai Motors Australia has previously said that if the current Genesis was available in right-hand drive, it would’ve brought the model to Australia. Although it’s still too early to say if Hyundai will bring the next-generation Genesis Coupe to Australia, the availability of a right-hand drive makes it a very strong possibility.
The current Genesis Coupe has only been on sale in the USA since early 2009, which means it’s unlikely to be replaced till at least 2014.
When quizzed about the potential for the Genesis in Australia, Mr Yang confirmed the next-generation coupe is being engineered from the ground up to be available in right-hand drive. However, the next-generation Genesis sedan (which is largely aimed at the North American market) will still be made in left-hand drive only.
Mr Yang told CarAdvice that creating a vehicle for both left and right hand drive markets may add up to 50 percent more cost to the R&D, making the business case for a right-hand drive Genesis sedan a potentially unprofitable venture.
The rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe and Sedan have enjoyed tremendous success both in Korea and abroad. In 2009 the Genesis won the North American car of the year award, a first for a Korean manufacturer.
CarAdvice believes the new Genesis Coupe will be used by Hyundai as a halo car to showcase its credentials and increase brand appreciation worldwide.
If the locally produced rear-wheel drive family sedans were to disappear, one would have to wonder if there would then be a reasonable business case for the Genesis sedan. Either way, it’s unlikely to happen till at least the third-generation.
Mr Yang also admitted that local tuning for the Australian market had been challenging, given vehicles such as the i45 had been designed with the North American market in mind. According to Mr Yang, Hyundai will continue to improve its ride & handling for future models with better tuning for Australian conditions.